darkest nightMature

Dove stands. "No. I won’t help you."
Cade leans forward, his eyebrows shooting up. "I think you will."
He says it with such conviction that Dove hesitates. "W-what?" She stutters.
"I think you will," Cade repeats. "I’m prepared to offer you a deal."

Dove spins around, not wanting to hear more, but I’m right behind her. She stumbles into my chest and steps back, startled eyes finding mine. Her expression is torn - tortured, and I can tell making a deal with Cade is the last thing she wants to do.
But she has to. I spin her around and plop her in my chair.

"What trade?" Dove says quietly after a moment.
Cade raises his eyebrows, delighted. "Bring us the Winged One, and we’ll never bother you or your sister again."

Dove gasps. "My sister…?" She lashes out across the table at Cade, but falls short and slumps over in my chair. Her face is buried in her palms. She looks too much like a child right now. I can’t stand it - I look away.

"If you bring us a Winged One, I swear on my life, Hunter, that I’ll never bother you or your sister again. I will alert other clans as well."
Dove looks up. "Yes. I’ll do it."
I’m shocked. That was easy - too easy. Even Cade doesn’t know what to say for a moment. "But on several conditions," Dove continues.

Cade nods. "Of course."
"I want to know where she lives and I will visit her. I won’t try to warn her or anything, because I know you’ll just find us anyway, if I back out on this deal. I just want to see her."

Cade nods hesitantly. "Her address will be given to you before you leave."
"Thank you."
"And now my condition. You will have one week to find me a Winged One, or the deal is off. You shall bring it here, and be off. You will not return."
"Of course."

"And you shall be accompanied by whomever I choose."
Dove hesitates, but grits her teeth and nods.
Emma whispers something in his ear and he nods, his eyes drifting between Ash and I. I can practically see the gears turning in his head. Oh, no. He is not making us do this. He wouldn’t.

"Jett and Ash will go." Cade says. I hear groans across the room - from Dove, too. I shift uncomfortably. "What?" Cade snaps in response, peering around the room. "Does anyone else want to volunteer?" The groans stop and everyone remains silent. "Exactly. They are who Emma saw in her vision, and they shall go."

Dove bites her lip. "Okay. Deal."
"So we have a deal," Cade repeats, delighted.
"A deal with the devil," she responds coolly.
Cade only smiles, glad to have his pawns on the board.

The End

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